With all of the attention we devote to bitcoin and its original blockchain, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that the cryptocurrency industry has grown tremendously. Altcoins – which is to say any crypto options aside from bitcoin – have been available for a number of years now. But only in the last year or two, with cryptocurrency’s general surge to relevance, have they really started to become noteworthy. For this reason, it feels appropriate to take stock of some of the most important altcoins that are available as of the summer of 2018.
If you follow cryptocurrency you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with the excitement surrounding Ethereum. This is effectively a blockchain network that is designed to spark and support crypto-related innovations. It’s engineered to grow, which some believe inherently gives it more potential even than bitcoin. It’s for this reason that 2018 began with people analyzing which was better investment of the two. At this stage bitcoin remains the most valuable cryptocurrency by a substantial margin – but Ethereum, and the ether tokens that represent its actual currency, remains arguably the most significant altcoin.
We published an article about Ripple and how to buy it before, so we won’t spend too much time on it here. But it’s still one of the noteworthy up-and-comers, and many see a great deal of potential in it as an alternative currency. It should still be noted, however, that at this point ripple still has a very low value.
Verge is an interesting currency in that it basically succeeds by excelling at one of the things cryptocurrency was supposed to do in the first place: facilitate anonymous online payments. One of the things people love about the idea of cryptocurrency is that they can make online transactions in what feels like total privacy. No financial account information is shared, names aren’t required, etc. Verge takes this idea to a new height by using various means to mask user IP addresses and make sure that the people behind transactions are completely unknown and untraceable. It’s a small distinction, but a meaningful one that makes Verge significant.
Litecoin seems to have faded away a little bit, but that’s really just a perception because it isn’t new. One of the original alternatives to bitcoin, it’s been around for years now, and remains one of the more valuable crypto alternatives. A little while back a guide to several different altcoins posited that there’sno doubt that Litecoin is one of main altcoins . This might not be as sure a thing today, but litecoin is certainly still in the mix. Functionally, it’s basically a more affordable version of bitcoin with faster transactions.
Bitcoin cash is one of the newer altcoins, at least among the significant ones, but it established itself in a hurry, and its connection to bitcoin naturally lends it an air of significance. For those unfamiliar with or even confused by it, bitcoin cash is essentially a forked off version of bitcoin that’s designed, as its name suggests, to be more of a “cash” option (whereas bitcoin has become more of a commodity).